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ACS News

Obituary: Robert L. Sykes

by Linda Wang
November 22, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 47

Robert L. Sykes, 89, died on Oct. 5 in Sussex, England.

“Robert, an ACS member for 50 years, drove collaboration and excellence in leather manufacturing globally. He gave the prestigious J. Arthur Wilson lecture to the American Leather Chemists Association in 1971 and received a distinguished service citation from the Leather Industries of America in 1992. He developed processes for reducing tannery waste and received the Queen’s Award to Industry. Robert was president of the International Union of Leather Technologists & Chemists Societies from 1984 to 1987, receiving its first lifetime achievement award in 2007. He was awarded Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the U.K. On retirement, he joined the United Nations Industrial Development Organization leather panel. He passionately supported education, giving lectures around the world, and was a committed Rotarian of Rotary International.”—Mark Sykes, son

Most recent title: Chief executive, British Leather Confederation

Education: B.Sc., leather chemistry, 1950, and Ph.D., leather chemistry, 1952, University of Leeds

Survivors: Sons, John and Mark; four grandchildren

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